"4 1/2 Minutes" Essay

724 words - 3 pages

Human Failure"4 1/2 minutes" is a story full of the darkest human emotions and human interaction at its worst. The main character, Miles, will take the reader through a journey and one will wonder why it ends so abruptly. Miles has already begun his torrential downfall eventually leading to his absence of mind and life. Kate Sheofsky wrote this story to show the realness of humans and not to put a sugar coating on it. The author told a weaving, intricate, and beguiling story of human failure in its worst form. Miles gets the full body tattoo to show that he is strong and that he will find acceptance whatever the cause.Many colors are used in "4 1/2 minutes" that showcase the point of being strong and having courage. The author chose to use the color purple when she describes the tattoo Miles is receiving on his back. (Sheofsky) In army operations the color purple is used when naming operations that have multiple types of units involved. Whenever more than one type of unit is involved that means it is a joint effort. When Miles received the purple tattoo it was foreshadowing his oneness with the fish. Blue is most often associated with water and re-birth. Sheofsky writes "patches of blue as his skin is revealed" and this shows Miles is ready for his acceptance (Shoefsky). These colors foreshadow Miles and his strength; furthermore the main character and his name of Miles also have a hidden sense of power behind it.The name Miles has a hidden meaning behind it to show the strength of the character. Miles has an ancient meaning of soldier. In "4 1/2 minutes" the author states "His skin is young, but his expression is worn and battered. "Dark circles haunt his vacant eyes." (Sheofsky) These words portray the average soldier through history. Soldiers are often young and overstressed beyond what the common person can even comprehend. After years of bloodshed and torment they often will have the vacant stare. This 1,000 yard stare is common with soldiers that have been pushed too far or have seen too many atrocities. Miles is one of these...

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